Cambodia Temple Guide
Banteay Samre Temple
Large, comparatively flat temple displaying distinctively Angkor Wat-style architecture and artistry. The temple underwent extensive restoration this century by archaeologists using the anastylosis method. Banteay Samre was constructed around the same time as Angkor Wat. The style of the towers and balustrades bear strong resemblance to the towers of Angkor Wat and even more so to Khmer temple of Phimai in Thailand. Many of the carvings are in excellent condition.
Banteay Samre Temple is a bit off the Grand Circuit, near the southeast corner of the East Baray. The trip there is a nice little 3km road excursion through villages and paddies. Combine a visit to Banteay Srey with a stop at Banteay Samre on the way back.
Banteay Samre in Cambodia is somewhat "off the beaten track", located away from the more visited Angkor temples. The temple is named after the Samre, an ancient ethnic Indochinese tribe most likely related to the Khmers. Banteay, is a Khmer word for citadel. In its architecture and style the temple bears a very similar resemblance to both its neighbour, Banteay Srey, and the majestic Angkor Wat itself. Banteay Samre highlights would have to include the interior moat which when filled with water must have given the temple a mystical and peaceful sensation. And then of course, the temple's location and surroundings set within beautiful rice paddies and local villages.
History of Banteay Samre Temple
Banteay Samre's history is very hard to trace and much is left to speculation and interpretation. The name translated as "Citadel of the Samre", is not a distinct reference to its date of construction. Whats more, no inscription has been found for this temple, however historians have generally consented that it would have been built around the same time as Angkor Wat, as the architecture is of the classic art of the same period, although the architecture also suggests that amendments were made to the temple during the Bayon period.